That Sucks, continued

Continuing on what I wrote in my last post, part of the problem I have conveying things to band members is that I listen to songs as a songwriter.  I analyze it, take it apart, try to figure out what makes it work.  Try to find things I can use in my songs.

Here’s an example of a song that almost surely would be voted down if I suggest to my band that we should cover it:

I know.  It’s Poison.  Poison sucks.  Brett is a clown, you can’t hear the bass, the drums have way too much reverb, and, while CC is a great guitarist, the guitar sounds like it recorded on a guitar you’d buy at KMart.

But underneath that is a good song.  It’s got a nice, solid melody that’s both easy to follow and not too predictable.  If it had been recorded by a band with even a shred of artistic credibility and quality instruments you’d still hear it on the radio once in a while.

It’s not always true that people aren’t able to tell when a good song is being played by an objectively shitty band:

I have a basic metric for a band’s quality- if you can imagine them doing a credible cover of another band’s song, they probably don’t suck*.  Can you imagine the Violent Femmes doing a not awful cover of anything?  Nah, me neither.

So what’s the difference?  Beats me!  If I knew how to cater to audience taste I would be a well compensated song writer right now.


*Of course, there’s the examples of Jack White, Dwight Yoakam and Axl Rose, great talents who completely fuck up any song they didn’t have a part in creating.


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